Educational Opportunities for High School Graduates

 

Each year as summer draws to a close, many recent high school graduates throughout the Commonwealth prepare to begin a new academic year filled with hopes and dreams for a bright future along Graduating Studentswith the boundless excitement of entering into the next phase of the educational ladder to success. "Higher Education Opportunities for High School Graduates in the Commonwealth" would make the college experience possible for more Massachusetts high school graduates by providing the same hopes and dreams to those young adults currently excluded from certain benefits due to their immigration status.

Children, even if they lack certain documents, should be offered “in-state tuition” alongside their peers if they earn acceptance into a state college after studying for three or more years at a Massachusetts high school. This policy would encourage all youth to do well in school, model culturally-competent leadership and benefit the entire Commonwealth in many ways.

For example:

  • Empty seats on college campuses could be filled, resulting in new revenues and increased talent;
  • Youth would be encouraged to make choices that enhance their dignity and the common good;
  • Every child has a unique purpose, making higher education possible supports the development of those irreplaceable skills and qualities;
  • “In-state tuition” has reduced high school dropout rates in other states and could do the same here;
  • Greater diversity on college campuses would benefit all students in Massachusetts; and
  • The current structural rules that prohibit “in-state tuition” appear to target and isolate a marginalized community (undocumented youth). This legislation seeks to end that unjust discrimination.

Across the Commonwealth, many educators and religious leaders build bridges between diverse communities, nurture the hopes and dreams of students and work hard to create a just society. "Higher Education Opportunities for High School Graduates in the Commonwealth" provides the legislature an opportunity to do the same. This legislation embraces and models justice for all.

The Massachusetts Catholic Conference is the public policy office of the Roman Catholic Bishops in the Commonwealth, representing the Archdiocese of Boston and the Dioceses of Fall River, Springfield, and Worcester.

2017 Massachusetts Catholic Conference Legislative Testimony

To see testimony before the Joint Committee on Higher Education, click here, (pdf) June, 2017

2015 Massachusetts Catholic Conference Legislative Testimony

To see testimony before the Joint Committee on Higher Education, click here, (pdf) July 2015

2013 Massachusetts Catholic Conference Legislative Testimony

To see testimony before the Joint Committee on Higher Education, click here December, 2013 (pdf)

2011 Massachusetts Catholic Conference Legislative Testimony

Massachusetts Catholic Bishops Advocate for Educational Opportunities for High School Graduates in the Commonwealth (pdf)

All are Encouraged to Voice Their Opinion:

  1. Call, email, write or visit your State Representative and State Senator.
  2. To determine who your elected officials are visit  http://www.wheredoivotema.com   or call at 617-722-2000
  3. Share your lobbying success with the Massachusetts Catholic Conference by calling 617-746-5620